We had the honor of sitting down with the talented and charming Crosby Loggins to discuss his career, his experience on Rock The Cradle, and what’s next for him. Here’s what he had to say:
So Crosby, you know we’re distant cousins right?
C. Loggins: Are we? That’s awesome! I was actually wondering that when I saw your name on the schedule for today.
[Small talk ensues about how we are related]
Alright, so let’s get to the questions! What made you decide to do Rock The Cradle?
C. Loggins: I was actually pretty reluctant to do it at first. I had been approached by some other reality TV opportunities in the previous 18 months or so and I turned them all down. That is not the kind of thing I am in to. Wherever I fit into this business, at the end, I do have certain beliefs, strong feelings about real music and things that I love. They don’t jive with reality TV in my mind.
They approached me several times, and I was really flattered to be offered such a big opportunity. At first I turned it down like 3 or 4 times. I was really reluctant about it to my manager in particular, poor guy. He was like, “Look man, things have really changed in the music business over the last 5 years, and everybody knows this. But one of the things that has really shifted is that TV has become the biggest radio station. There is a lot of reality to that.”
So it was a tremendous opportunity. At the end I just decided to just pony up, and it turned out well for me. So I can’t complain.
Now obviously people knew who you were before the show, but were you worried about the people who didn’t know you, and making this introduction to them through this avenue of reality TV? Because reality shows do have a certain kind of stigma attached to them.
C. Loggins: Absolutely! I mean the show was corny as hell [laughs]. It was a kind of show that I would normally look past, but yeah I definitely was concerned about that. What can I say you always pay for what you get, and there’s always a give and take and a compromise in this industry. I applaud any of my friends and colleagues who were able to achieve their place without utilizing media, which I would consider kind of lowbrow.
On the other hand, this was a real gracious way to sort of engage this sort of opportunity and experience. I mean, look I am this famous guy’s kid from the 80’s as far as my generation knows. This generation knows him for a bunch of 80’s songs, I know him more for his work in the 70’s which makes it more my parents’ generation.
I definitely have friends that have famous parents, obviously less well known celebrities [the children], who were kind of looking at me and saying, “Well are you going to do this or aren’t you? Hey man, here is an opportunity. Take one.”
I don’t watch MTV. I don’t want to dis on it on anyway, but that is not the kind of thing I normally watch or do, so I just kind of took it like a wild experience. And it definitely turned out to be that.
How would you say your life has changed since the show and since you won?
C. Loggins: Not that much. I’m definitely getting to meet some people that I haven’t been offered the opportunity to before the show. Like incredible producers that I really admire as well as different artists and writers. I recently got a chance to write with Babyface, which may seem like a really bizarre and odd match. He is a tremendous producer and a really nice guy. My father actually worked with him years ago, and I didn’t know that. He plays upside down and backwards. It was really a challenge to work with him and write with from that stand point. But he is a tremendously talented producer and a really easy guy. I got to sit down and write a song with this guy and we got to write this fun tune. Those opportunities weren’t exactly falling into my lap before. I have grown up with a lot of cool opportunities, but nothing quite so out of left field and interesting. My life has changed in that regard, but from day to day, I still live in Santa Barbara and still produce.
Now I know that you said before that your dad was just dad to you and his shadow has been difficult for you, but obviously you were exposed to a lot of cool things that you wouldn’t have been if he had not been in the music business. How did that shape your opinion on the music industry?
C. Loggins: I think if I could criticize myself in any way, maybe it made me a little snooty. I mean I was so spoiled musically… every player that I got to meet. When you grow up knowing Michael McDonald…. He’s really not cool by our generation, like pronounced in movies…
I am trying to remember what was that The 40 Year Old Virgin or something like that which was hilarious. I totally jive with it, because I mean that stuff is hilarious. But the guy is so freaking talented. He is such a particularly good performer. His ability to sing you a song and play a song back is so tremendous. I think I was always looking around at the young artists and myself with such a judgmental eye. And I think I criticize myself a lot for not being able to stand up in my head to these guys. The music business is a lot more complicated, and you don’t necessarily have to be Elvis to say something that people want to hear. That is evidenced by all the incredible indy music going on now.
I hope I am making some sense. There are definitely some ways in which I was influenced. Also I got to meet a lot of incredible people and musicians: backlines, drummers, bases… hell even lighting tactics that have worked for everybody, anybody. The salt of the earth kind of guys, not those kind of guys you would expect that are greasy and slime bags. There are definitely a lot of incredible people out there.
With your album who would you say your main influence was?
C. Loggins: I guess most of my main influences were like earlier singer/songwriters and contemporary singer/songwriters. I also was interested in my early teens by Sound Garden and rock bands like that that kind. Bands that used odd meters. I was really into Dave Matthews. There is kind of tinge to use odd meters and stuff like throughout parts of the record. So I hope that sort of covers it.
Is there is a song that feels most personal to you on your album?
I really like “Always Catching Up.” I really like “Same Old Song,” the last song on the record. I still like playing the title track on “March on America” live with the band. It’s a blast. And “Good Enough Also” I still like a lot.
Does it ever get tiring as a musician having to play the same songs over and over again?
C. Loggins: Oh yeah, absolutely! Everybody struggles with that on one level or another. That is why you’re cast to write the best songs you can. It keeps it going for you.
My old man used to tell me be careful what you write you might have to play it for the rest of your life. If you have a hit… you have to play “Footloose” for the rest of your life. He really didn’t mean to do that. That is always a challenge and the best way to remedy it is to write.
The ironic situation that I am in right now is that I have been grinding on some of this material for awhile. I kept getting in the position to re-release the project and the band for the past few years and culminating the label that I released last September on. That was the most noticeable one. Instead of just moving on and cutting the next record. In the wake of the show they liked the first record enough they want to re-release half of it on the new record. So, I was doing this material yet again, which is sort of a challenge from an artist stand point. I am cool with it.
Speaking of songwriting how does this process work for you? Is it weird at first or is it core progressions or how does that work?
C. Loggins: Lately it’s been kind of more the music first, but it really depends on the mood that I am in. I am not one of those writers that just does it one way. Personally, I think the best song will pop out all at once, because it’s this feeling that the words fit the music so cleanly. When you really have a complete thought, and you always yearn for that as a songwriter. You always work for that.
Never mind, I am not going to ramble on that. Lately though it’s been more just trying to find some good changes, something fresh. I have been trying to write something more mainstream and something so out in left field. Trying to find my way to the middle, and see how I do.
What it’s your CD player right now or in your iPod right now?
C. Loggins: A lot of stuff that I can’t do. Like Wilco. I haven’t been able to stop listening to “Sky Blue Sky”, and then some bold LA underground hip hop that I have come across. I still listen to a lot of Ryan Adams.
Alright, here’s a deep one for you. What would you say music is about to you? More specifically what is your music about?
C. Loggins: Music to me is a way of communicating without words. Even though we are talking about songs. I think music is second to only smell in its ability to transport you without you wanting to be transported. Like if you smell your ex boyfriend’s cologne, and I am talking about you not me [laughs]. Like somewhere in public you sort of flinch and look over your shoulder. You wonder if that person is around. Same thing happens with music. It’s really influenced my life a lot, even in times when I didn’t want it too. A song will affect you in such a cheesy corny way, but you are affected so deeply in the moment despite yourself. I think that is a beautiful thing. And I think that affects us, because it’s part of what it is to be human since music is one of the things that we do that nothing else on this earth does.
My music, when I think of it in the context of all music, I consider it to be a small, small crack in the wall. So, for me it’s a challenge in that exercise and just letting myself be a part of it. It’s an incredible fortunate opportunity for me to be in this position and for me to even make any money at all. It’s pretty cool. What can I say? That is an amazing opportunity. So, I am just going to go ahead and be a part of it as much as I can.
So what is next for you? And when you come to Atlanta do I get some of family VIP tickets?
C. Loggins: Oh yeah. Life time VIP’s for the record [laughs].
I’m holding you to that [laughs]!
C. Loggins: To the old guy’s shows as well. We can definitely hook you up with that. As far as what’s going on with me right now, I am just working on a record for Jive in LA. Other than that, I’m doing some sporadic gigs up until the fall. My record should be recorded by fall, and I’ll be able to go out on tour sporadically while I am waiting for the label to schedule the release of the record whenever it is they are going to. I know it’s sort of a long-winded answer, but it’s sort of the lay of the land.
Interview By: Emma Loggins